Dear PoP – Big Development Coming to Georgia Ave

“Dear PoP,

There’s going to be another set of new condos going up on the corner of Georgia and Newton Place! I think it’s 3512 Georgia Avenue, NW across the street from the new senior community center. The company is Hamel Builders. My husband and I stopped and spoke to the new owner one morning. He told us they’re going to knock down the old Newton Variety Mart and the dilapidated Car Wash. The new building will take up that entire lot. It will be between 8 and 10 stories with ground floor retail. They’re just waiting on permits to start. His estimate was it would be done in about 2 years.

What was really cool was the new owner is allowing the guy who’s using the car wash lot to continue his business there until they break ground. And he said he’s offered him a job working for him once the project begins! Based on that and other parts of our conversation, I got the sense that he had Georgia Avenue’s best interests at heart.

Awesome, no?”

Great to finally see some movement here.

After the jump a wider angle plus a very sad reminder of a serious crime that still need to be solved that was posted to the variety mart building.

45 Comment

  • so much new development in this area. i also noticed that the cool 4 story shell on the 700 block of lamont st had a crew tearing off the roof and re-framing the place yesterday…

  • I think / hope we are looking at a great revival that will lead to many good things for the neighborhood.

  • i find the poster of the girl heartbreaking.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      It really is. Seeing it in person, is so jarring, it really rips your heart out. I hope the father is able to find peace and resolution one day.

  • Oh man. Much respect and support for Mr. Rodney. Hope someone sees the poster and can help.

  • This is great, just please don’t build something that looks like a transplant from an office park in the burbs.

    Mediocre / crap architecture is killing this city (i.e. Girard and 14th the nexus of bad design)

    • Pound sand chief. I live at 14th and Girard and think the building is very cool. There’s not much we can do to convince cool shops and restaurants to come to our ground floor retail, but a pre-school and professional services are sorely needed in the neighborhood.

      As far as the building’s architecture, WTF? It’s a solid brick building with nice windows and nice effects. I don’t see any suburban apartment houses that remotely resemble it.

  • Man, that is a pretty heartbreaking flyer. Really depressing that a father had to resort to that sort of action for help.

    (I can’t help but wince at the literal reading of the message though.)

  • Great news! Newton Place can be very disturbing as can the surround few blocks. More eyes on the street and more activity will have benefits for blocks around! Especially increasing activity around Petworth Metro and to the south will be especially beneficial.

  • Who is she and what happened? I love you POP but it’s kind of insensitive to post this flyer at the bottom of a new development story.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I’ll be the first to admit that I make mistakes but since the poster was on the building that is going to be torn down, I think it would have been worse if I ignored the poster and didn’t post it at all.

    • I don’t think it’s insensitive – in fact, I think it’s a pretty poignant illustration of the state of the city, on several levels.

  • yay gentrification.

    I’m sure it will look like every other ugly and out-of-place condo around the U Street/Columbia Heights area, full of more residents who view the original population either as interesting animals in a zoo, or as criminals intent on robbing and killing them.

    • “I’m sure it will look like every other ugly and out-of-place condo around the U Street/Columbia Heights area (which is better than a vacant convenience store and dilapidated car wash)”

      Fixed that for ya!

    • Yay foolish stereotyping!

      Gentrifier here, who happens to like and appreciate the majority of my neighbors.

    • its fine and all to complain, but are you doing anything to change those perceptions?

    • It sounds like you have a similarly over-simplified view of the “non-original” residents who have moved to the area since 2005. Or is the cutoff 2000? Perhaps 1968?

      • +1

        Blight is just so REAL, so AUTHENTIC. We should preserve it so that people who move to an edgy area maintain their edge.

    • Wah Wah Wah. New architecture is the worst.

      Listen, it may not be your cup of tea, but architectural styles change. Look at the stuff on 4th St SW. Look at the mix of buildings in Dupont – some are old and beautiful, some were built sometime in the 60’s or 70’s and are obnoxiously ugly (IMO). But the fact is, the neighborhood has a great feel and overall is quite beautiful. Developing areas, such as U St, CH and Petworth are going to have different feels that Dupont because their architecture will reflect what’s going on right now. You may hate it, but that’s the way it is. I think that in a couple decades, even when buildings look dated (as many in Dupont, SW and other areas of the city do), you will still find that the neighborhood that resulted from this development is quite nice and a vast improvement over what is already there.

      • “Wah Wah Wah?” “You may hate it, but that’s the way it is.”

        Egypt is calling they want to give you a PR job.

  • too bad they are tearing down that old building. i like it. i wish they could incorporate it into the new building 🙁

  • o god, this is the company behind lots of fugly buildings.

    there is little to no hope this building will add to the architecture of ga ave in a positive way.

  • Maybe Bank of America (located on the same block) will now invest some cash into upgrading the Park and Georgia Ave branch. Friendly tellers but the building is a dump.

  • Looks like a great development site. Anyone know where to find a rendering of it or just some general info like # of units or sq ft of retail space?

  • wait a second. Is this the location of the new building thats part of the Park Morton rebuild? Nothing to get too excited about then…its 100% subsidized housing (and for those of you who argue its “workforce” you know that housing vouchers for section 8 housing count as income which is how you get to 100% subsidized no matter how you spin it). Although I guess they sooner they team down the park morton buildings the better.

  • Great news! Good to see things are picking up on Georgia. Are they really going to be condos though?

  • not condos public housing for seniors.

  • P of Petworth, can you confirm that this isn’t a “new condo” and just the Avenue development going in as part of Park Morton? Which means its apt not condo. I don’t there are any market rate apts in this bldg so manage expectations on retail…

  • It’s part of Park Morton redevelopment:

    Glad it’s coming. Communities should be mixed: racially, income levels, culturally, etc. While respecting the needs and culture of each. Gentrification as displacement is bad, but diversification is good. It makes our city and our country better.

  • To everyone who is complaining about the potential architecture of the new building – do you seriously think that its going to be worse than the current eyesore!?

    Get real.

    • the problem is that the new building will be here for decades and a good architect could design a much better facade for the same price. i’d rather it stay run down till a good design comes along, i am thinking long term.

      • Again, “good” is subjective. Obviously someone thinks the architects who make all the buildings you dont like are good. Just because you do, doesnt make it some sort of scientific fact that the building will look like hell in 20 years.

  • That poster is definitely Ebony Franklin. the girl whose body was found in a trash can in the alley behind 11th and Fairmont. Cheif Lanier said on WTOP that she is confident there will be an arrest soon, but of course that was weeks ago and still nothing. poor sweet girl.

    • it’s too horrible to even think about. i hope they catch the rat fuckers. i wish we could do more than life in prison.

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